The Carleton University Board of Governors acknowledges that the location of Carleton’s campus is on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.
In compliance with Ontario’s Essential Services Order, the Board met remotely on March 10, 2022. Minutes from the meeting will be posted on the Board of Governors website once available. The following are the highlights from the meeting:
Student Mental Health Framework 2022-2026
Following comprehensive community consultation, a draft version of the updated Student Mental Health Framework 2022-2026 was developed. The revised document reflects a more holistic and campus-wide approach to student mental health and wellbeing. It outlines four areas of focus: Student Engagement, Building Skills and Strengthening Resilience, Coordinated Student Support Services, and Campus Culture of Wellness. Each area of focus is interdependent of the others and are designed to work together smoothly to facilitate the framework’s overall objectives. Feedback on the draft continues to be accepted here.
The Board approved the revised responsible investment policies that includes an immediate commitment to not hold any direct fossil fuel investments in its Endowment and Non-Endowed Operating Funds, the establishment of a fossil fuel free fund by the end of 2022, and a strategy to achieve significant decarbonization of the entire Endowment and Non-Endowment portfolios by 2030. The updated policies consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when analyzing all investments. These updates align with the university’s strategic priorities and our collective goal as a community to have a positive impact on the world. Learn more.
Dr. Rafik Goubran, Vice-President (Research and International) provided the Board with an update on Carleton’s research activities. Research is a key pillar of the university’s success and plays a vital role in Carleton’s reputation and ranking. Overall, Carleton’s research funding and impact continues to grow at a rapid rate, with annual research funds now reaching $97.4 million, an increase of 79% since 2018.
2022-2023 Ancillary Budget
The ancillary services on campus, the largest units being Residence, Dining, Conference Services and Athletics have faced a significant financial impact due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. While the portfolio maintains an accumulated surplus, several individual units carry an accumulated deficit. The proposed 2022-2023 ancillary budget has been prepared anticipating the resumption of all in-person on-campus activities in 2022-23 but the budget conservatively projects a small deficit of about 2 million, to be covered by ancillary reserves. The proposed budget provides priorities for the 2022-23 year for each ancillary unit, including increases in rates and fees where applicable, expected revenue, projected operating costs, and deferred maintenance and capital projects.
Investment Income Equalization Reserve
The investment income equalization reserve protects the University against the possibility of a downturn in investment markets. Upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Board approved a $39 million cap on the investment income equalization reserve along with the appropriation of the current excess to the capital reserve.
Pandemic and Strategic Reserve Allocation
Given the uncertainty surrounding 2021-22 fiscal year due to the ongoing pandemic, the allocation of the 2020-21 year-end available balance of $13.4 million was placed on hold. Following the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Board has moved forward with approving allocation of the available funds to a pandemic and strategic allocation reserve to be used in future years.
President Bacon began his report by addressing the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces: “The Carleton community stands in solidarity with the victims of this invasion and supports the broad array of international calls for the invasion to end.” He reassured the Board that students of Ukranian and Russian origin were being provided with appropriate support, and that mental health services were available to any members of the Carleton community.
He then provided an update on recent activities and accomplishments that have taken place at Carleton since the December Board meeting. Read the President’s Report.
Next Meeting: April 28, 2022
The next Board of Governors meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2022. Open session meeting materials are posted one week in advance of each meeting. More information on items approved, as well as minutes from previous meetings, can be found on the Board of Governors website.
Chair, Carleton University Board of Governors